At first glance, the “Special Report on Poverty,” the third and final part of the 2011 population study of the Greater New York Jewish community that was commissioned by UJA-Federation in consultation with the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, holds no surprises.
Like people in other faiths and traditions, Jews feel an obligation to help the poor. When we lived in an ancient agricultural society, people left the corners of their fields untouched, anyone could eat from your land in a year of shmita and there were offerings at the Temple that the poor could partake in freely.
A new report shows that 20 percent of Jewish households in the New York metropolitan area are poor, a figure only marginally lower than the rate in the general population.
The report released Thursday by UJA-Federation of New York found more than 560,000 people living in 200,000 poor or near-poor Jewish households, a figure that represents a doubling of the number of people living in poor Jewish households since 1991, despite only a 14 percent increase in the Jewish population. The report also found nearly half of children in Jewish households live in poor or near-poor conditions.
Drastic cuts to reduce the state's $10 billion budget deficit proposed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo may cause agencies under the UJA-Federation umbrella to lose as much this year as they have in the past three years combined.
In what the federation calls a "gigantic challenge," agencies providing immigrant services, employment, child care programs will lose about $30 million in revenue and an additional $30 million in foregone funds, such as cost of living increases -- roughly the amount of funding that has been decreased since 2008.
(JTA) -- Severe weather across Europe this week shut down airports and businesses, and made it much more difficult for needy Jews to get the food and financial assistance they require.
The unprecedented snow and low temperatures in places such as the Baltics, Bulgaria and Romania has required the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee to work harder than ever to get assistance to its clients in the countries of the former Soviet Union.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The framers of an interfaith effort with the grand goal of halving American poverty in the next decade had a small but focused message this week: Keep those school lunches coming.
At a meeting Monday on Capitol Hill at an event attended by congressional staffers, the framers of the effort spoke of a pending vote to reauthorize the Child Nutrition Act, the program which brings school breakfasts and lunches to needy children.
The calls come one after another. Eventually, they blur together — the 60-year-old unemployed real estate broker who is behind in his rent; the former headhunter who is struggling to find work; the wife of a recently laid off high-tech professional who can’t pay her family’s utility bills; and the 81-year-old man who needs an affordable place to live because his adult children can no longer subsidize his rent.